Naval Missing in action
OTTAWA — The plan to replace the navy’s warship fleet is officially sailing uncharted waters, with an important deadline for the $60-billion project having all but vanished.
The government says it continues to work with industry to deliver the warships the navy needs, and that a new deadline will be set soon.
But defence experts say the development is unprecedented, and raises fresh concerns about what is the largest planned military purchase in Canadian history.
The federal government launched a competition last fall in which a dozen of the world’s largest defence and shipbuilding firms were asked to design potential replacements for the navy’s frigates and destroyers.
The companies were initially given until the end of April to submit their designs, after which one would be selected for construction by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax.
But the competition is now in a state of limbo, with no established deadline for designs to be submitted since the government extended the competition for a second time in May.